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on 18 January 2013
This very slim volume is a very well presented (poem a page) introduction to Larkin's poetry for those not familiar with his work. The selection of poems is interesting - the familiar and less familiar, ironic, satiric and moribund - an easy read if you have not the thought to spare or are misled by apparent simplicity.
For those, like me, who have read the collected poems and think we may know a little something, Martin Amis' excellent introduction will quickly reassure us that we don't - very informative as well as entertaining.
For only the cost of a bottle of wine, go on and buy it. Or, better still, buy both.
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You are going to enjoy this little gem of a book if you choose to buy it: it is a genuine gem. Larkin offers insights into the human condition like no other poet: wonderful poetry that seems so utterly authentic, written in a unique style that seems so utterly straightforward (and yet which carries such depth, too).

The foreword by Martin Amis is substantial and enjoyable. He offers good reasons why Larkin is still such a very popular poet and gives a well-considered redress to the sly negativity that Andrew Motion's biography stirred up a decade or so ago. Larkin's poems themselves will always rise above such as that.

Well worth buying - a treasure!
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on 2 January 2013
Well presented very slim hardback containing all too few of Larkin's poems. I bought several copies to give to acquaintances as an introduction to Larkin because they had been too squeamish - 'too sensitive' - to admit to fears about their own mortality previously and who thought him 'too rude'. The selection - limited as it is - is excellent and cuts to the quick of Larkin's poetry. But what made me choose this book in the end was Martin Amis' introduction. Those who read Larkin's collected poems regularly may need the shot in the arm Amis gives us to remind us of the originality of the poetry we admire. As an introduction to Larkin, I can think of no better gift.
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on 9 August 2013
You will enjoy this little treasure
A great introduction to Larkin who has a great insight into the human spirit
Enjoy
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on 27 June 2015
There are now many anthologies of Larkin's poems available, but I particularly like this one because it contains Larkin's best work and leaves out the less successful attempts. Unless you must have every line he wrote, including juvenalia and unpublished poems, this is the collection to get. Amis's introduction does justice to the life and work of the poet.
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on 7 November 2014
Too much Martin Amis - not enough Philip Larkin!
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on 20 December 2014
eye-opening. Good!
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on 18 January 2015
Perfect
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on 25 November 2014
If you are new to Philip Larkin this is the ideal book to read. A useful introduction by Martin Amis (son of Larkin's close friend, Kingsley) sets the scene, followed by all of his best (and best known) poems. I am pleased that Larkin seems to be coming back in to fashion following his period in the wilderness at the instigation of the PC and screeching feminist collectives. James Booth's recently published biography has received mixed reviews, but updates Andrew Motion's older biography. Also available is Archie Burnett's Complete Poems.

But, to reiterate, this is probably the best introduction to the best English poet of the mid-twentieth century.
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